KIGALI City Council has so far distributed over 19,000 textbooks to 60 primary schools in its ongoing reading campaign dubbed “Mobile Library.”
The campaign locally known as “Bana Dusome” an initiative by the City Council in conjunction with Bakame Edition, a local publishers’ association launched last month, aims at encouraging pupils in the city to read as a way of enhancing their reading skills.
In an interview with The New Times, Marthe Yankurije who is in charge of education at KCC, said that the education office in the city in collaboration with Bakame Edition set up a committee to closely follow up the exercise to get positive results as originally expected.
According to Yankurije, the books which are supposed to be transferred to other schools after a month are expected to have reached all the 167 Primary schools in the city by the end of this year.
She however, said that all schools are supposed to be having their own libraries, the Mobile Library being, “just a supporting library.”
“All schools are expected to set aside a budget to equip their own libraries starting by next year,” Yankurije said.
1008 books were donated by the US embassy in Rwanda in the first phase while 315 were provided by Macmillan.
The other 18,008 books worth Rwf10.5 were donated by Bakame Edition and KCC.
To cement the culture of reading amongst children, Yankurije said that 30 minutes of reading in each school were set aside every week.
“Every school must have 30 minutes of reading under the teachers’ supervision,” she said.
“This, we did it because most of the primary schools are day-scholars and pupils hardly get time at home to read these books because they cannot take them home.
She however, said that most children have ignored reading French text books following the introduction of English as a language of instructions in schools.
“The teachers have responded to us saying their pupils ignore reading books written in French that it is of less use to them since it is now only taught as a subject but not a language of instruction,” Yankurije said.